Woke up, very early. Stayed at a “camp,” had a prayer meeting at 7 AM with 40+ people, and went to an indigenous tribe mission (school). We split into two groups, visited classrooms, and took turns giving testimonies. Our leaders, Gezer and Gustavo, gave the gospel message, but not sure, as was in Portuguese 😳. First cold (50•F) and rainy day, and we were all in shorts! Our meteorologist was wrong. Had lunch at a church family’s house and visited a boys’ prison in the afternoon. Gezer gave a message and prayed for a boy who asked. PTL! A few testimonies were given. It was sad as boys were leaning on prison bars to listen.
Day 5, Tuesday, 6/20
More awesome cafe (coffee) and new favorite fruit, papaya!
We went to The Happy House, Casa Crianca Feliz, a Presbyterian mission, run by a German, who came with his wife 27 years ago. Amazing godly man. He started this children’s mission from scratch in the “Hood.” The mission is surrounded by shacks, brick or sheet metal houses, and tarp shacks; we drove through it. Many drugs and some murders here, but it was safe for us. Don’t worry. We played with one group of children, ages 5-12, in the morning and another group in the afternoon. Gezer spoke, and a few testimonies were given. Americanos were a hit. We had many kids holding our hands and following us around, great kids, smiling, laughing, having fun, despite their circumstances. They have next to nothing. This is an awesome ministry that Klaus heads up. Sad to leave them.
Dinner at a burger place, where owners donated the meal. So nice, mega huge burger sandwiches, nothing like it in Estados Unindos! Once again, we were joined by Brazilian friends.
Day 6, Wednesday, 6/21
Last day at The Camp. We drove around to see other nearby indigenous people. Very poor living conditions. We stopped at a school with no prearranged meeting. They were gracious enough to allow us tour the school. The guide took us into a classroom. Gezer spoke (who knows what he said) and Brooke, too. Turns out they were seniors. The guide took us here purposely as most students have no goals at all, and many youth don’t attend school at all. She hopes we gave motivation to some. This school was a mix of 3 indigenous tribes. Their arts and crafts room was amazing with talented students. They also had a garden. A farewell lunch was provided for us at The Camp. We then toured the site where Gustavo’s church’s new church will be built, a cornfield now. They have built an athletic complex (soccer, beach volleyball) and pavilion type facility. Also have many fruit trees.
Day 7, Thursday, 6/22
Spending day in Bonito. Went to see somewhat the equivalent of Lewis and Clark caverns. It was called Blue Lake Cavern. Stalagmites and stalactites (do you know the difference?) and a small blue “lake” at the bottom which we descended to, on stairs, one at a time, slippery stone stairs, many slippery stone stairs. This required hair nets and hard hats. Yet we did not go in caverns, caves, or tunnels; OSHA must have a presence here. Lewis & Clark Caverns do no require helmets, yet more dangerous. You figure it out. After lunch, we went to swim with the fishees, hundreds of them. Carp. Make sure you look at some pictures of our event. Words can’t describe. Being in the crystal clear river with hundreds of fish within feet of you and your friends throwing fish food at you from shore, let’s just say it’s an experience you will never forget. We have videos, too, and a recording of Leah’s screaming, in joy of course. She’s a trooper.
Bonito should have made the international news as economy was boosted in the evening by a record number of reals (hey-ice) spent, courtesy of Mone-tana Americanos .